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Are you an entrepreneur desperate to reach the pinnacle of your chosen career ladder? If you are to one day scale these heady heights, you are going to need to climb your way up to an executive position sooner rather than later. In this type of role, you will gain invaluable experience with regard to managing teams, handling corporate finances, and controlling organization sustainability. Furthermore, with all of this experience behind you, you will be much better placed to start and run your own company at some point in the future.
If you are to attain an executive position and remain in it for years to come, you are going to need to display accomplished business leadership qualities daily. If your management skills currently leave a lot to be desired, be sure to put the following advice into practice.
Here are seven things you must do to become a better business leader:
Obtain an MBA
Obtaining a Master of Business Administration degree is one of the best things that you can do to become a better business leader. On this type of postgrad course, you will cultivate a practical managerial skill set that will help you to lead strategically and ethically going forward. In addition, you will work alongside a diverse team of experts to experiment with different managerial styles, the ultimate goal being for you to earn an official leadership designation.
Worried that you will not have the capacity to juggle studying and working at the same time? Fear not… web-based learning is here to help! Thanks to the rise of online MBA programs, your day-to-day professional performance need not be impacted by your desire to expand your educational horizons. Furthermore, should you take the remote education route, 100% of your lessons will be taught via a dedicated online platform. This will afford you complete control over your studying schedule, which in turn will help you to strike the perfect balance between working and learning.
There are many amazing online MBA programs on offer in today’s educational landscape, and you have to find one that suits your studying specifications. When looking for the perfect course to enroll in; in this instance, be sure to take specific admissions requirements into account. As a general rule of thumb, online MBA programs do not require GMAT or GRE but will ask you to produce official academic transcripts during the application process.
Identify your leadership style
The lessons taught in today’s leading online MBA programs provide business students with a robust managerial foundation. However, if you want to build on this sturdy platform once you graduate, you must take some time to identify your own style of leadership actively.
Here are five leadership styles that you should consider embracing when you land your first managerial role:
As a general rule of thumb, autocratic leaders make all the decisions and take a command-and-control approach to management. This is a style that is appropriate in high-pressure environments (i.e., prisons) that require strong, totalitarian leaders. It is not, however, the type of leadership that bodes well with today’s Millennial workforce.
Authoritative leaders are confident in the sense that they take the initiative in each situation they find themselves in, yet they are not as strict or as tunnel visioned as their autocratic counterparts. They set expectations and map out the road to success for their team members, but they also take the time to explain their decisions.
‘Do as I do!’ is a phrase used by pacesetting leaders daily. This type of manager does not stand idly on the sidelines and bark orders to their team — they get stuck in, get their hands dirty, and lead by example.
As its name suggests, democratic leadership is rooted in democracy. Designed to promote trust, cooperation, and team spirit amongst employees, this is a managerial style that gives power to the people and involves the entire workforce in the decision-making process. Though effective in forging a distinct sense of corporate togetherness, there are still many executives that do not feel that this style of leadership has a place in the modern business world. Many believe that it blurs the lines about who is actually in charge, which negatively impacts day-to-day workplace efficiency.
Managers that embrace the coaching leadership style task themselves with motivating, energizing, and engaging their team members to get the best out of them. They see the workforce as a reservoir for talent, and they stop at nothing until each individual employee has unlocked their full potential. More often than not, you will find coaching leaders in educational environments.
To home in on the leadership style that best suits you, you must understand your unique strengths, weaknesses, wants, needs, and values. If you require assistance about unearthing your true self in this sense, be sure to heed the advice found here.
Work with your team
If you want to inspire great work from the employees that you are charged with leading, you need to work with them rather than over them. Your team comprises grown adults — they do not want to be spoken to like children or treated as inferior citizens. If you are to cultivate trust amongst your workforce, you need to respect your individual staff members by treating each of them the same way you would like to be treated. Getting in the trenches and operating alongside them is a great way to showcase this level of respect and humility.
So long as you undertake your studies at an educational establishment renowned for the inclusivity of its online MBA programs, you will learn how to work with a diverse team of professionals during your time at university. With this type of experience under your belt, you will find it much easier to interact with a whole host of people from a wide range of backgrounds, cultures, and beliefs. This will help you operate alongside your team in a much more effective fashion, which will increase the respect and appreciation you garner for yourself as a leader. It is imperative, then, that you take diversity into account when exploring potential online MBA programs.
No matter what level of success you attain in the world of business, you need to keep your feet on the ground and retain a modest outlook at all conceivable points. Should you fail to showcase a respectful attitude within your organization, you will alienate yourself from your team members and, in turn, ruin the crucial flow of communication that you share with them.
Nobody is going to feel inclined to work hard for you if you act in an arrogant, conceited, or haughty manner in your place of work. If you want your team to give their all to your cause on a day-to-day basis, you simply must remain humble. To display a distinct sense of humility as a leader, you must:
- Actively listen to what your team members have to say
- Refrain from talking about yourself all the time
- Show appreciation and publicly thank your team members for their hard work
- Share the spotlight with your workers whenever you attain success as a team
- Take accountability for your actions, own up to your mistakes, and admit when you are wrong
- Place your trust in your staff members and never attempt to micromanage them
- Seek evaluations from your superiors and welcome any constructive criticism that they provide
- Most importantly of all, be kind
Regardless of what company you work for, what specific job you perform, or what industry you operate in, your workforce will be plagued with a lack of motivation from time to time. To ensure that the absence of productivity does not blight your day-to-day workflow too severely, you must take it upon yourself to inspire your staff members.
Incentivizing is a definitely a route that you should consider taking in this instance. Once you start rewarding hard work with additional perks and prizes, your team members will feel like they have more to work towards daily. This will enhance their ongoing clarity, focus, and determination, which will result in them hitting their deadlines consistently.
To find a list of cool work perks that will be sure to inspire your workforce, be sure to check out Business News Daily.
Adapt to change
Throughout the course of each working day, you will be sure to encounter a whole host of leadership challenges. If you are to overcome these hurdles in a highly efficient and effective fashion, you must remain agile at all times. Your flexibility will either aid you in your bid to optimize your career as a leader, or it will hold you back from unlocking your full potential in the world of business. If you’d much rather attain the former outcome, you must find a way to adapt to change whenever it befalls you.
Do you want the flexibility to become one of your core competencies early on in your career? If so, be sure to enroll yourself in an MBA course that provides situational agility as a key module. Taught on most of today’s leading online MBA programs, this is a module that will teach you crucial lessons about scalability, mobility, and versatility. Upon your graduation, you will have the capacity to read difficult situations in the workplace and, in turn, react to them in a highly structured and logical manner.
Conflict resolution is another crucial lesson that is taught in most online MBA programs. Once you hone this all-important ability, you will find it easier to quell feuds and calm irate individuals during your time at work. In addition, this will aid you in your bid to keep your workforce focused throughout each working day, which will help your company produce more work at a quicker pace. Ultimately, this will have a profound positive impact on your brand image, your customer retention rates, and your profit turnover.
The conflict resolution lessons that you learn via your online MBA programs should form the bedrock of your education. If you are to truly stand a chance at settling disputes effectively in your place of work, however, you must consistently grow and develop as a problem-solver.
If you want to handle, manage, and resolve workplace conflict in a highly effective fashion time after time, you must:
- Take action early before the situation festers and, in turn, snowballs
- Understand your boundaries when interacting with your individual team members
- Create a relaxing ‘problem-solving area’ that puts your employees at ease
- Actively listen to both parties involved in the conflict and respect their unique differences
- Don’t shirk your responsibilities by asking another manager to deal with the situation — confront the tension head-on, no matter how awkward it may be
- Practice reflective thinking, as this will help you to delve deeper into reasons why certain forms of conflict have arisen
- After hosting initial meetings with the employees embroiled in the conflict, allow the situation to breathe by calling a ‘time-out’ period
- Take all of the information that you hear into account, confer with your conflict solving task force, and come to a fair decision (if this means that you have to get tough and hand out formal warnings and/or disciplinaries, so be it)
If you are to determine to maximize your potential as a business leader, you must heed all of the advice and guidance laid out above. Then, compare online MBA programs and find a course that suits you, home in on your own unique leadership style, work alongside your team daily, remain humble and inspirational at all times, adapt to change whenever it befalls you, and be sure to resolve workplace conflict before it snowballs out of control and you end up in trouble. Do all of that, and you will be sure to reach the pinnacle of your chosen career ladder in no time.